Girls Soccer: Late rally comes up short for WingersThe first half was a microcosm of Red Wing’s season Tuesday in Red Wing.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The first half was a microcosm of Red Wing’s season Tuesday in Red Wing.
The Wingers (5-9, 0-6 Missota) came out flat and spotted New Prague a 2-0 lead in the first half before a second-half goal finally provided a boost with 20 minutes left in regulation. But it was too late as Red Wing fell 2-1.
“That seems to be the team right now,” Red Wing head coach Dusty Beckman said. “It took us 15 minutes to get it going, even in the second half.”
Despite playing with little energy in the first half, the Wingers still had plenty of chances to take a lead and nothing materialized. At the 27-minute mark, Red Wing put a shot on goal but New Prague immediately responded with a goal that cleared the tips of ninth-grader Marissa Fitzsimmons before bouncing through the defense for a 1-0 Trojans’ lead.
“She went towards it and realized she should have gone back,” Beckman said. “More practice will help with that.”
Again, the Wingers put together scoring chances that either flew barely over the net or into the keeper’s hands. New Prague tallied its second goal at 8:36 on a deftly-placed corner kick into the goal box that hit two sets of feet before finding the back of the net.
Beckman said the anticipation of senior day and homecoming had a definite impact on the players but it’s not an excuse. Red Wing was outplayed in the first half.
“It’s a huge factor,” he said. “All the anticipation wears them down. It took us awhile to get our focus back.”
The Trojans (5-10, 1-5 Missota) had a shot hit the left goalpost early in the second half that could have put the game out of reach, but the Wingers’ passing tightened up and the offense became a little more organized. At 14:25, senior Paige Lampe let loose a shot that looked like it might score but New Prague’s Ally Kubes made the save.
“We’ve been really working formation in practice,” Red Wing junior Maddie Erie said. “That’s been a key … we really brought it up. We’ve been really trying to keep it going like that. We want that intensity the whole game.”
Red Wing’s best opportunity for a goal came on a free kick with little more than 11 minutes left in regulation just outside the 18-yard box. Erie eyed up the set piece and delivered a strike into the goal area. The ball bounced past the goalkeeper, who was knocked to the ground on the play, to cut the lead to 2-1.
“I was nervous,” Erie said of the free kick. “I was hoping that something would come from it. I was aiming for my teammates.”
The Wingers were a different team after the goal, controlling possession of the ball and unleashing multiple shots, but New Prague held off the flurry for the win.
Beckman was frustrated with the result, saying that Red Wing could have won comfortably with a full-game effort.
“I don’t know if we are out there thinking it was going to be an easy win or what it was,” he said. “I think our inexperience catches up to us on certain days.”
The Wingers will finish up the regular season Thursday at Chanhassen.